NASA Aims to Predict Dust Storms on Mars

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 - 10:05AM
Space
Mars
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 - 10:05AM
NASA Aims to Predict Dust Storms on Mars
NASA really, really wants to avoid a real-life Mark Watney situation. We haven't even figured out how to land a manned mission on Mars yet, but NASA is already developing the technology to forecast local weather and predict potential dust storms.

NASA aims to predict the weather by studying high-altitude data from orbiters. Dust storms tend to make the air hotter at high altitudes, so signs of an impending regional dust storm would show up as a local spike in temperature high above the surface. NASA is still trying to refine their techniques, as they wouldn't work when attempting to detect a global storm on Mars, but the earliest NASA predicts we can get to Mars is 2035 (although SpaceX estimates 2024), so they have plenty of time. 

Granted, the dust storms on Mars would likely never be so powerful that they would strand an astronaut on the Red Planet, left only with a killer soundtrack and fertilizer feces. But still, it's encouraging for the future of space exploration that NASA is thinking about predicting local weather on Mars for the sake of manned mission, as it shows that the Journey to Mars is still very much in development.

Via Si-News

Science
NASA
Space
Mars

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